Pumpkin Chia Pudding (Keto-friendly, clean)

 

Who’s ready for pumpkin season!?

I’m not scared to admit it. I love pumpkin, and I’m ready for pumpkin season.

I know it’s still August and I’m not saying I’m ready for fall. I’m just ready for pumpkin. Pumpkin everything (except for PSLs…those should never be considered real pumpkin!)…let’s get it going.

This is a super easy dessert to throw together. And it’s keto-approved. (More to come on keto!) The hardest part is making sure you make this ahead of time so the seeds have time to soak. After dinner, I always need one sweet bite or something and this really does the trick.

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Pumpkin is full of fiber and chia seeds are full of healthy fats. The two together make this a totally healthy, fun snack or dessert.

This is another one of those throw-everything-together-and-just-let-it -do-it’s-thing” type recipes.

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Do you guys use chia seeds? I had a weird aversion to them for a while. I didn’t like the texture and didn’t really understand why anyone would even bother. They seemed tasteless and just silly. After reading more about them, they’re now a staple for me every single day. If nothing else, I just throw them in my AM smoothie (which reminds me, I should totally do a blog post on my favorite AM smoothies!)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic pumpkin puree (actual pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mixture)
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie seasoning
  • 1.25 cups of organic unsweetened cashew milk

How to: Combine everything in a bowl. Mixture will be watery before the seeds have time to expand. Set the mixture in the fridge for 3-4 hours, mixing every hour or so. Once they have set a bit, scoop 1/4th of the mixture into a cup. Top with whipped cream, pecans, or walnuts.

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Spicy! Pink Pistachio Chocolate Fudge

Ok, so….this blog is about clean eating. And these aren’t exactly clean…. Ok they’re not at all. BUT. They are good!! And dannnngggggg… they are pretty.

When I started testing this recipe, I had in mind that I would make a  crunchy bark. Then I channeled my inner fat kid and said “YOLO, I’m going for it, this is now fudge”. Best. Decision. Ever.

Look please.

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Prettiest dessert yet? Could be.

Do you like spice? Ok then we’re good here. Do you also like sweet? Covered here as well. Lastly, do you like PISTACHIOS? I feel like that’s not really even a question…

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Let’s be clear here. These are an exception to what this blog is all about. These are not clean and they aren’t healthy. They should be considered a treat. The good thing is, they are so flavorful you really only need a couple of bites to be more than satisfied.

The photos speak for themselves here, so let’s just get down to it, shall we?

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Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces of dark chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
  • 18 ounces white melting candies
    • Note: seperate out about 12 ounces of the 18 ounces of melted chocolate and mix with red food coloring to make pink chocoate!
  • 1/2 tablespoon of melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup of unshelled and crushed pistachios

How to:

  • Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper
  • Melt dark chocolate in the microwave, microwaving for 15 seconds, stirring, and then returning to the microwave until completely melted
  • Once melted, mix in chipotle powder – you may want to do a taste test to see exactly how much spice feels right
  • Pour into the lined baking sheet and put in the fridge to set
  • In new and seperate bowls, melt white and pink chocolate the same way as the dark chocolate
  • Pour white chocolate over pink. Using a knife, swirl together the pink & white chocolate
  • Set back in the fridge to set for 2-3 hours
  • Sprinkle with pistachios before serving

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I should warn you that a little spice goes a long way here. Also, I found that it’s kind of necessary to tell people these are spicy before they bite in, otherwise you’ll see their face go into complete shock when chewing. Or maybe watching that that can be part of the fun 🙂

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Eat one and then HIDE these from yourself!!!

Blueberry + Chocolate Coconut Bites (Clean, Vegan, no-bake)

It’s been hot. Really really hot. Like, “feels like 100” hot here in Chicago. When it’s that hot, who can stand to be in the kitchen with a hot oven? Not moi. Time for a no-bake, chilled sweet treat!

These take about 10 minutes to put together. Another SUPER easy one! You really can’t mess this up even if you try!

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I have to say… one thing I have never been great at is layering on the chocolate drizzle. It’s a mess. I totally intended to have the chocolate drizzled nicely & evenly across the cookie in straight lines.. Ha! Not even close.

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But really…aren’t they more fun this way?

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One of the things I love about these is that they are actually better frozen. They’re like a little frozen blueberry coconut meltaway puff. (What a mouthful!) I’m planning on keeping these in the freezer until about 2-3 minutes before I am ready to eat them. Totally not necessary to keep them frozen, as they’ll maintain their shape even if room temperature. I am just using them to provide a little relief from the heat wave!

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Ingredients:

  • One pint of organic blueberries (you could also use frozen – I just happened to have some fresh organic blueberries laying around…because…who doesn’t? :))
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (if you don’t have any, just put some gluten free oats in your vitamix and pulse until ground)
  • 1.5 cups of unsweetened coconut shreds
  • 1 full frozen ripe banana
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons organic maple syrup
  • Optional: Dark chocolate for melting

How to: (Um, the easiest ever…)

  • Pulse all ingredients except for chocolate together in a Vitamix – I like to leave a few blueberry chunks in there
  • Using your hands or an ice cream scoop, create balls of the mixture and lay on a piece of parchment paper or on a cookie sheet. Freeze for at least 1 full hour.
  • Melt dark chocolate in a cup or bowl and drizzle (hopefully, more beautifully than I was able to!)

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I chose to use blueberries in this recipe because I just happened to have some. If you’re a cheery person, I can imagine they would turn out INCREDIBLY. Omg, maybe I need to try that too…

Also, you could use strawberries, blackberries, or really any berry! Give them a try with some different fruits and let me know what you think!

Stay COOL! Woof.

Raw Vegan Blackberry Mini Cheesecakes

Cheesecake – ugh. The best thing in the world, but not for people like me who can’t really handle cheese. Wah wah. Finally, this recipe is something I can get on board with – vegan cheesecake bites, made with cashews. Can it really be true?!?

I stole this recipe (borrowed? 🙂 ) from Little Vegan Bear’s amazing Blueberry cheesecake bite recipe.  Why blackberries instead of blue? No reason – they just caught my eye at the market this morning. Plus – aren’t they beautiful ?

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These do take some time, so make sure you have an hour or so to spend in the kitchen. Not all of the time will be prep time. These require that you create a layer, then let them set for a while before adding on the next layer. All in all, these took me about 1.5 hours. And, I only photographed one of them becuase the others were still setting, but I wanted to get the good, natural light 🙂

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Ingredients:

Base Layer:
1 cup soaked or boiled dates
1/2 cup pecans or other nuts or seeds (anything but cashews!)
¼ cup almonds
pinch of pink Himalayan salt (Or whatever salt you have – I just prefer pink!)

Cheesecake layer:
1½ cups cashews, soaked at least 8 hours – overnight is even better
¼ cup agave
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons  vanilla
1 tablespoon lime juice

Blue layer:
1½ cups cashews, soaked
1½ cups blackberries
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
¼ cup agave or maple syrup

Chia jam:
2 cups blackberries (I used frozen)
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons organic chia seeds

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How to:

  • Add the base layer ingredients to a Vitamix or blender. Mix well until still chunky, but mixed well and most of the larger pieces are chopped.
  • Spray a muffin pan then spoon mixture into the pan. The mixture should cover the bottom of the pan but not be too thick – think 1/4 of an inch or so.
  • Pop them in the freezer to set.
  • Clean out/wipe down the Vitamix. Next, blend together the cheesecake layer. Give it a taste before you you scoop layer on to the base – depending on your taste, you may want to add another little bit of agave.
  • Once you’re happy with the taste, spoon this mixture on top of the base and put them back in the freezer while you make the next layer.
  • Again, clean out the Vitamix and blend the next layer of ingredients. Mix together the fruit layer ingredients. Again, layer. Again, freeze.
  • Next, you’re going to create the jam that goes on top. Bring blackberries (or your choice of fruit), agave and lime juice in a sauce pan to a boil. Once boiling, smoosh the berries & let the mixture simmer.
  • Add in the chia seeds and let simmer; allow the seeds to soak up the remaining liquid. This should take 10-15 minutes. Once most of the liquid is gone, allow the jam to cool.
  • Once the cheesecakes are solid, scoop a bit of the jam on top. Layer with any of your favorite superfoods – I wish I would have had some crushed pistachios to layer on top of my jam!

Happy Easter! ❤

Pistachio Matcha Protein Balls (Clean, healthy, Gluten-free, no bake)

A co-worker has been requesting that I bake with matcha for some time now, though I’ve been nervous to try it. Matcha is not cheap when it comes to tea and I was nervous that it wouldn’t taste sweet enough without any added or artificial sugars. However, I just went for it … (YOLO)… and these were a huge hit!

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For a first go at baking with matcha, I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the results. The green color of these is natural  from the matcha – they would have been the perfect St. Patrick’s Day treat. I guess there’s always next year!

balls1.jpgThese were super quick to make. I put them in the freezer to set, but you could have eaten them right away. This recipes makes about 12 balls depending on size.

Oh, the best part? These are low calorie and HIGH protein, so they make for a great post workout snack or a healthy after-lunch treat. I’m estimating these bad boys come in around 125 calories each.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1 1/2 scoops any plant based, vegan protein powder (I used Sun Warrior, a personal fav!)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of Matcha (If you didn’t know, I’m obsessed with David’s Tea – this matcha is great, and they have a few “flavored” options too)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of organic coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons pure organic maple syrup (could sub Agave if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1-3 teaspoons of water
  • 1 cup of crushed shelled pistachios (to make sure these are clean, just use plain pistachios – not roasted or salted) balls1.jpg

How to: (Told you these were super easy)

  • In a food processor, blend together cashews, coconut, protein, matcha, and coconut flour until well combined and powdery.
  • Add in melted coconut oil and maple syrup. Blend for a few seconds until a heavy dough starts to form.
  • Scoop all of the mixture out and put in a seperate bowl or onto parchment paper so it’s easier to grab and roll the dough into balls.
  • At this point, if the dough isn’t sticking together, add a teaspoon of water at a time, mixing in between, until you’re able to roll these into balls. They should be dry enough, though, that they will stay together on their own and not melt all over the plate.
  • Put all crushed pistachios on a plate and roll the dough around on the plate, pushing the pistachios into the dough.
  • Set these in the freezer to set. This should only take 15 minutes or so.
  • Eat and enjoy!!

 

Green Superfood Smoothie Bowl (Clean, gluten-free, paleo)

Ok, you know how oats are my “thing?” I may have discovered a new “thing”.

Smoothie bowls.

Most mornings, I have a green drink to go alongside my oats, but I have recently discovered smoothie bowls that bring in some of my favorrrrrite superfoods. This is my very first smoothie bowl and it was delicious. I had to stop myself from making 10 more after this first one because I got so excited thinking about everything I could create!

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One of the most fun parts about these is how beautiful they are! I mean… LOOK!

I started thinking/dreaming about smoothie bowls after my recent trip to Tulum, where I stumbled upon the most amazing raw vegan smoothie restaurant – Raw Love.  My husband made fun of me for discovering one of the healthiest restaurants in Mexico while on vacation, when everyone else we were with was more focused on finding the best margarita. But seriously, this place was legit. Ahhhh, I want to go backkkk.

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Ingredients:

  • Smoothie Bowl:
    • Small handful of kale
    • Small handful of cabbage
    • Small handful romaine
    • 1 cup almond milk
    • 10 ice cubes
  • Toppings: 3 large sliced strawberries
    • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
    • 1/4 cup chia seeds
    • 1/4 cup blueberries
    • 1/8 cup pistachios
    • 1/8 cup cashews
    • Anything else your little heart desires!

How to:

  • Add all ingredients from smoothie bowl to Vitamix and blend until well mixed
  • Top with any toppings & enjoy immediately!

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Chewy Chocolate & Coconut Protein Bars (No bake, Vegan, Gluten Free, Clean!)

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As you know, I’m a workout fanatic. Recently, I have started using protein powder after working out to help my body refuel. Not everyone believes your body actually needs protein supplements, but since I don’t normally eat protein in the morning I find it’s an easy add to my breakfast that helps keep me full all day.

Honestly, I could probably eat the entire pan of these. I am thinking of having my husband lock them away somewhere so I don’t do that.

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My plan is to cut these up and put them into individual Ziploc bags for a quick breakfast I can grab on my way out the door. You could even freeze them to make them last a few weeks. Just be sure to thaw them overnight!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten free oat flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour, sifted
  • ½ cup of your favorite protein powder (I like Sun Warrior because it’s vegan and tastes great!)
  • 2-3 T cocoa powder (Or more, depending on your taste)
  • ½ cup almond butter (any nut butter would do)
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk or Cashew milk (I’m newly obsessed with creamy unsweetened vanilla cashew milk!
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten free oat flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour, sifted
  • ½ cup of your favorite protein powder (I like Sun Warrior because it’s vegan and tastes great!)
  • 2-3 T cocoa powder (Or more, depending on your taste)
  • ½ cup almond butter (any nut butter would do)
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk or Cashew milk (I’m newly obsessed with creamy unsweetened vanilla cashew milk!
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

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How to:

  • Spray a 8×9 or 9×9 pan with  coconut oil spray
  • Mix all of the dry ingredients together (Flour, Protein powder, cocoa powder) and mix well
  • Separately, mix together nut butter and maple syrup and warm over the stove until they’re melted together
  • Once they’re melted, add the vanilla and stir
  • Add all wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients. It should be pretty chunky and hard to stir
  • Spoonful by spoonful, add the milk util a super thick batter is formed
  • Scoop batter into the greased pan and push down firmly to flatten the dough into the pan
  • Sprinkle coconut flakes over
  • Pop in the fridge or freezer and let them set 1-2 hours, or until they become bar-like
  • Slice – makes somewhere between 12-16 bars, depending on size

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Pecan Pie Petites (Vegan, Raw, Clean, Paleo-friendly)

Ok so we all know that the desserts that the family brings to Thanksgiving are loaded with sugar and extra processed (and unnecessary!) ingredients – right? Personally, I can hardly ever eat a meal without needing a sweet ending but I hate the idea of eating a dessert made from a box with loads of unhealthy…who knows what! nut4

Juuuuust in time for Thanksgiving, meet my Pecan Pie Petites. You can feed these to pretty much anyone with special diet restrictions and keep them happy, because they’re clean, paleo-friendly, raw & vegan!  (Except they are pretty nut heavy, obviously, so keep these away from the nut-allergic uncle.)

These took about 20 minutes to make in total and were super easy. The worst part? Waiting for them to freeze overnight when all you want to do is shove 0f them in your mouth at once.

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Basically, this is another one of my cococtions where you can just put in a food processor, layer it, freeze it and eat it. Done.

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Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Pecans
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 tablespoons of Agave or Maple Syrup
  • 1 Cup Pitted Dates
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla

Pie Layer Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Pitted Dates
  • 1 Medium/Large Banana (The more ripe, the better!)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Agave or honey
  • 1.5 cups pecans
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 tablespoon nutmug
  • 1/2 cup No sugar added Almond Milk (optional)
  • Extra pecans for topping – crushed or whole, totally your preference

How to:

  • Mix all of the crust ingredients in your food processor for about 45 seconds, or until it looks chunky but not blended all the way. You’ll want it to be chunky enough to taste the pieces, but ground enough to hold together as a curst.
  • Grease a 8×8 or 9×9 pan and press mixtures into the bottom of the pan. You might want to use your hands to spread it out but make sure it’s level across the entire bottom of the pan.
  • Wash the food processor.
  • Next, add all ingredients from the pie filling into the food processor and mix well. Add in Almond Milk if necessary to make the it a thick pie texture.
  • Pour pie filling over the crust.
  • Don’t forget to lick the spoon 🙂
  • Freeze at least 5 hours – I froze mine overnight.
  • Cut them into 1 inch bites and top with a a mini piece of pecan or pecan crumbs.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to thank everyone who gives you endless compliments on how much these taste like Pecan Pie. 🙂

Whats your favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Have you ever tried to make a clean version of it?

Dreamy & Rich Coffee Ice Cream with Cocoa Drizzle (Vegan, Gluten Free, Clean!)

Ok I did it – made my first post! Woo! On to post #2.

I have already learned that not every single one of my attepts is going to be pretty. This one, for example started as Chilled Coffee Ice Cream bars in my head. However, I could see that getting pretty messy. Much better to use a spoon with this 🙂

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I really really love is coffee. Hot coffee in the winter, cold coffee in the summer. Something that was hard for me to give up when I started my clean eating diet was coffee creamer. Sometimes, I wondered if I really wanted the creamer more than the coffee… Now, though, I have fallen completely in love with almond milk in my coffee. Typically, steamed almond milk seems to have more of a creamy texture for some reason when you put it in hot coffee. This is my attempt to take my favorite creamy tasting coffee and turn it into a clean dessert!

Also, I am including a “crust” in this recipe. Take or leave the crust, but I found it really gives more of a thick & chewy texture to the mix.

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Dreamy & Rich Coffee Ice Cream with Cocoa Drizzle Ingredients: 

Crust:

  • 1 cup of raw (unsalted) cashews
  • 1 tablespoon of instant coffee (I used regular, but I think any flavored instant coffee would be really good too!)
  • 1 cup of pitted dates

Ice Cream:

  • 1 can (15 oz) canned coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee
  • 4 tablespoons of raw maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon agave

Chocolate Drizzle:

  • 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons of cocao powder
  • 4 tablespoons raw maple syrup

How to:

  • Blend together ingredients for the “crust” in a Vitamix or similar food processor. Drop the mixture into an 8×8 pan and press it down to compress. Pop in the freezer while you start on the ice cream.
  • Melt the coconut oil. Add coconut oil, coconut cream, syrup and agave to a small bowl and mix well.
  • Pour the mixture over the “crust” and pop back in the freezer until solid.
  • Once the layers are frozen, combine all ingredients for the chocolate drizzle.
  • Pour 3/4 of total mixture over the other 2 layers and freeze again. This creates a frozen chocolate layer as the top that kind of reminds me of Chocolate Shell, but healthier 🙂
  • Let everything completely freeze! I let sit in the freezer overnight, but 3-4 hours should do it.
  • Before serving, warm up the remaining chocolate drizzle. Scoop out a hearty amount of the crust + ice cream and serve in a bowl.
  • Add chocolate drizzle as desired and dig in!